Bella Tipping says she’s honoured to have been chosen as one of the batonbearers for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
The 15-year-old said she was shocked when she was told the news a few months ago.
“It was amazing I was very, very honoured, I couldn’t believe it at first,” she said.
“We’ve known for a while we just had to keep it a secret.”
As well as Bella, the following people from the region have also been named as batonbearers: Ian Burns, Joan Rheinberger, Brett Robinson, Ernie Sluiter, Brian Tink, Bonnie Tratt and Hugh Treloar, Annette McMillan, Katrina Morrow, Suzanne Nuttall, Daniel Andersen, Tanya Andersen, Colin Harper, Pat Lummis (Gilgandra), Sandy McGrath (Gilgandra), Brian Palmer (Geurie) and Benjamin Austin (Wellington).
To be chosen, people have to have been nominated. Bella and her mother Bernadette are unsure who nominated Bella, but said they suspect it may have been one of her aunties.
Ms Tipping is full of pride for her daughter.
“There are lots of people doing amazing things in Dubbo so for her to be part of it is just incredible. She’s saving the world one step at a time,” she said.
Bella said she believed she had been chosen as one of the batonbearers because “people probably just heard about some of the things I’ve been doing to promote social change”.
Bella has spent years pushing for airlines to make it easier for disabled people to travel. She started a petition last year to allow people to travel in their own modified wheelchairs, inspired by family friend Denzil Peters.
Mr Peters had an accident that resulted in quadriplegia in 2010.
Bella’s mission is making progress.
“Virgin has asked me to be a part of one of their advisory groups so every quarter they fly me to Brisbane and I get to meet with a bunch of people to try and come up with a way to make some changes,” she said.
At the moment she’s trying to change the harnesses used when disable people fly. Rather than have them strapped horizontally, Bella said she wanted airlines to adopt something similar to what race car drivers use.
Bella has an important message for other people her age.
“Get out there. If you see an issue and you can think of a way to solve it, do it. The world needs changes and if you think you can do it, do it. You’re never too young,” she said.
Despite all her hard work, Bella said she still has a bit of time to squeeze in her duties as a batonbearer.
The baton relay will go through Dubbo on January 30, 2018.